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ARC pleased with response to Draft Annual Plan

ARC pleased with response to Draft Annual Plan

23 May 2005

The Auckland Regional Council is pleased with the number and quality of the formal and informal submissions it has received to its Draft Annual Plan and Amendments to its Long-Term Council Community Plan 2005-14.

The ARC received 155 formal submissions, as well as 1800 on-line and newsletter responses to a questionaire.

The 155 formal submissions raised over 900 separate points. Of those, over a quarter related to transport issues, a fifth to rating policy and a seventh to parks.

Highlights include: · Strong support for proposed public transport developments · There were calls for the Warrant of Fitness to include exhaust testing, and that bus emissions be cleaned up first · Support for signing up to the Urban Design Protocol and encouraging the ARC to proactively implement the Regional Growth Strategy, and advocate for better quality development in the review of the Building Code · Several voiced opposition to toll roads · Some submitters didn't agree with basing rates on capital value, some wanted rates increases to be pegged to inflation, a few wanted the introduction of a Uniform Annual General Charge, and several requested that funding be driven by user pays · Several supported stormwater initiatives and the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Issues for which there were similar numbers of submitters both for and against include: · The proposed introduction of the Estimate of Projected Value (EPV) system, which is designed to smooth the fluctuations caused by three-yearly property revaluations · The use of a business differential and the adjustment in the amount of the business differential (from 1.5 to 1.6) · Introduction of a fixed targeted rate for parks purchase · Development of roading.

ARC Chairman Michael Lee said: "This is a listening council and we will carefully analyse what the regional community is saying. It appears that we are on the right track, but we would be quite prepared to amend our Draft Annual Plan if that is the widely expressed view of the people of the region."

The Council meets to begin three days of hearings tomorrow (24 May), to hear the 50 submitters who wish to speak to their submissions. Council deliberations on submissions will then take place over a further three days, wrapping up by 31 May.

Decisions arising from the public hearings process will be implemented through the adoption of the final Annual Plan 2005/06 at the end of June.

ENDS

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